Heathrow Airport is to take part in a trial exploring the viability of lower carbon concrete, in partnership with Ecocem and Cemex.

The trial, which follows a series of lab and plant tests, has been designed to examine the durability and longevity of the concrete in a real airport setting.

Initially two lower carbon solutions will be tested: a Pavement Quality Concrete (PQC) equivalent mix containing 50% GGBS, and a zero-clinker product.

The lower carbon concrete will be trialled at the airport in a pouring site under the watch tower as part of a phased process to test its strength and durability in the field.

Using concrete that can withstand harsh environments is critical for an airport. At Heathrow, aircraft take off and land up to every 45 seconds, and the aim is for the trial’s findings to be used to set out a blueprint that other airports, keen to reduce carbon from all facets of their operation, can also follow.

Sustainable concrete solutions

Richard Kershaw, technical manager at Cemex, said: “Cemex is renowned across the construction industry for its commitment to providing customers with more sustainable concrete solutions.

“We were the first supplier in the UK to launch a net-zero concrete product, making us ideally situated to support Heathrow with their lower carbon concrete trial.

“We hope this trial will prove successful and demonstrate to the aviation sector the opportunities available to cut emissions during their development projects.”

Nigel Milton, chief of staff and carbon at Heathrow, said: “Heathrow is once again serving as a testbed for ground-breaking technologies, demonstrating global leadership with regards to sustainable travel.

“We’re committed to cutting carbon emissions on the ground as well as in the air and we’re delighted to be hosting one of the first airport trials in the world to test lower carbon alternatives. I hope that this trial will help radically transform the built environment at Heathrow in the years to come.”
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